From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter

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From Dusk Till Dawn 3:
The Hangman's Daughter
From Dusk Till Dawn 3.jpg
Poster for From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter
Directed by P. J. Pesce
Produced by Michael S. Murphey
Gianni Nunnari
Meir Teper
Screenplay by Álvaro Rodríguez
Story by Álvaro Rodríguez
Robert Rodríguez
Starring Orlando Jones
Temuera Morrison
Sonia Braga
Marco Leonardi
Michael Parks
Jordana Spiro
Lennie Lofin
Rebecca Gayheart
Kevin Smith
Danny Trejo
Music by Nathan Barr
Cinematography Michael Bonvillain
Edited by Lawrence A. Maddox
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • October 31, 1999 (1999-10-31) (Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival)
  • January 18, 2000 (2000-01-18) (United States)
Running time 99 minutes
Language English
Budget $5, 000, 000

From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter is a 2000 American horror film that serves as a prequel to the 1996 film, From Dusk till Dawn. It was released directly to video and was nominated for the Saturn Award for "Best Home Video Release".[citation needed] In late 2010, the production of a fourth film in the series was discussed,[1] but, as of August 2012, further work on this possibility has not been revealed. In late 2013, it was reported that a TV series had begun production.[2]


The prequel is set in Mexico in the early 1900s and begins with an American author, Ambrose Bierce, experiencing a nightmare in which he dies at the hands of Pancho Villa. Bierce then wakes up and talks to a local bartender about his intentions to join Pancho Villa's revolutionary army. He joins a stagecoach transporting a newlywed couple, John and Mary Newlie, who are traveling to Mexico to preach Christianity. Meanwhile, Johnny Madrid, a dangerous local outlaw, escapes from the gallows and kidnaps his hangman's beautiful daughter, Esmeralda. Madrid receives assistance from Reece, a young woman who wants to become Madrid's apprentice as an outlaw. With the hangman and a local posse on their trail, Madrid meets with his gang who later rob Bierce's stagecoach because of Reece's belief that Bierce holds an invaluable object. The object turns out to be the manuscript for Bierce's new book. Annoyed by this, Johnny leaves Reece to die via a hangman knot in the desert. Though she is found by the hangman's posse who uses her to track the two.

As night falls, all parties coincidentally seek shelter in an isolated inn that also serves as a whorehouse of which they also meet Ezra Traylor, a business man heading to the U.S. Unbeknown to the group save the Hangman, the establishment is run by a group of vampires who are led by the high priestess, Quixtla, who targets Esmeralda. As nightfall hits and John gets into a fight with one of Johnny's men, drawing blood. The vampires eventually reveal themselves, lock the exit to the place and attack the partons All of the hangman's men and the remnants of Madrid's gang are killed by the vampires. Erza is swarmed by vampire women, is fed on and quickly turns. His newly undead form grabs the helpless Mary and bites her. Madrid, Bierce, the hangman, Reece, John, Esmeralda and one other patron manage to escape into the dungeons beneath the building and try to work together to find a way out.

Mary rises as a vampire and goes after the group, her undead form revealing that John as a fraud who only married Mary for her father's money. John is eventually forced to kill her, though her turning reveals what will happen if they get bitten. The patron that was with them hides a bite he had gotten from a hooker earlier. However as they continue through catacombs, he eventually turns and bites John. John kills him and has Johnny stake him to keep him from turning. As the remaining survivors keep going, Reece confesses to Bierec of her background that she is an outlaw who killed her entire family in case she should not survive the ordeal. The ground eventually end up back at the bar entrance only to find Quixtla and the vampires waiting for them. She reveals that Esmeralda is ahalf-human, half-vampire princess, Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek's character in the original From Dusk till Dawn), and the daughter of Quixtla and the Hangman. The hangman had taken her away in the hopes of raising her as a normal human but, thanks to his mistreatment and Madrid, lead her right back to Quixtla

Madrid, the hangman, Birece and Reece are hung upside down to be fed on later as Quixtla transforms Esmeralda into the vampire princess. Johnny manages to break from his bonds and free the others. However Reece is bitten in the scuffle and presumably becomes a vampire. Esmeralda bites and turns the Hangman into a vampire, but he opens the entrance way and kills Quixtla before the change is complete, allowing Johnny and Ambrose to escape. As the film ends, Esmeralda screams for Johnny not to leave her as the entrance is closed. Johnny somberly looks away and joins Ambrose's quest to join Pancho Villa's army. As they leave, the camera zooms out to show the Mayan temple behind the building that houses the vampires, a callback to the first movie.

After the credits roll, part of the alternative ending (only shown on the VHS and DVD versions of the movie) is shown; Ambrose is revealed to have told this story to someone in a bar. The listener refuses to believe in vampires. Ambrose offers proof and proceeds to turn into a vampire himself and kill the listener. The original cut showed a completely different outcome of the last fight, with Madrid being killed by Esmeralda after a last shot showing Bierce fighting a horde of vampires, who eventually overcome him. The ending was likely changed to keep the running theme of only two heroes making it out alive from the vampire den.



The American Cinematheque held the West Coast premiere at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on October 30, 1999.[3]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 22% of nine surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 4/10.[4] Mike Emery of the Houston Chronicle wrote that the film "isn't terribly bad" but is too derivative and only for gore hounds.[5] Matt Serafini of Dread Central rated it 2/5 stars and wrote that the original film should not have had any sequels.[6] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club wrote, "Being competent is no great achievement, but for undiscriminating gore fans, it should be enough to make Dawn 3 a passable evening's entertainment."[7] G. Noel Cross of DVD Talk rated it 4/5 stars and called it "a smart sequel that delivers mucho bang for the peso."[8] Gordon Sullivan of DVD Verdict called it "a serviceable little action horror flick that takes a timeworn premise and adds its own small filigrees."[9]


  1. ^ Block, Alex Ben (16 July 2010). "Weinstein Co., Miramax Ink Deal to Produce Movie Sequels". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Hunter, Craig (17 November 2013). "T2's Robert Patrick & More Join 'From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series'". Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cinematheque bows 'Dusk 3' for Halloween". Variety. 19 October 1999. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Emery, Mike (8 June 2001). "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Serafini, Matt (30 July 2011). "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (Blu-ray)". Dread Central. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Rabin, Nathan (29 March 2002). "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Cross, G. Noel (7 May 2000). "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter". DVD Talk. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Sullivan, Gordon (12 August 2011). "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (Blu-ray)". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 

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